Malaysia's double-gold surprise

Malaysia's double-gold surprise
Malaysia's rhythmic gymnast Shasangari S. Nagarajan performing her hoop routine in the women's individual all-around final on June 14, 2015.

It was an unusual sight - two athletes standing on the top step of the medal podium.

Malaysia pulled off that feat yesterday at the Bishan Sports Hall, after two of its rhythmic gymnasts tied for the top position with identical scores in the women's individual all-around final.

Koi Sie Yan and Shasangari S Nagarajan, both 16, claimed the gold with a combined score of 60.25 points each.

The gymnasts had to perform four routines - with a hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon.

Sie Yan was leading the competition after posting the highest scores of 15.45 and 15.55 points in the hoop and ball routines respectively.

However, Shasangari scored higher for the third routine, which made use of clubs.

Sie Yan posted 15.65 points for that routine, while Shasangari scored 15.70 points.

Shasangari then scored 15.40 points to Sie Yan's 13.60 points in the final ribbon routine to stand equal on points in their individual all-around performance.

"My ribbon routine was shaky," said Sie Yan, afterwards.

"The ribbon formed a knot soon after I started. It affected my confidence and hampered my performance."

Sie Yan was given a penalty of 0.05 points for the knot in her ribbon.

But that small hitch did not matter - the Malaysians were overjoyed by the unexpected double gold.

"We were shocked," said Malaysian team manager Petrina Low.

"We expected Sie Yan to win gold and Shasangari to win silver, but this is a fantastic achievement. I'm so happy."

"It's a miracle," said a beaming Shasangari, after the medal ceremony.

"I told myself that I had to do my best, and I did. My clubs routine score was my best ever."

The silver medal was not awarded for the event due to the double golds, and Thailand's Panjarat Prawatyotin, 21, received the bronze with a combined score of 57.35 points.

Singapore gymnasts Tong Kah Mun, 17, and Daphne Chia, 18, claimed fifth (57.20 points) and sixth (54.15 points), respectively, in the event.


This article was first published on June 15, 2015.
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